Wedding magazine closes after same-sex marriage controversy
An Australian bridal magazine will close after contributors revealed it was refusing to feature same-sex weddings in a decision which caused controversy and saw advertisers withdraw their sponsorship.
A farewell note published on White Magazine's website on Saturday said they'd recently experienced "a flood of judgement" and lost a number of advertisers.
"We have had to recognise the reality that White Magazine is no longer economically viable," the publishers said.
The 12-year-old magazine, its team and advertisers had been targeted by a campaign, and couples featured in its pages had been the subject of online abuse, the post said.
Contributors in August revealed White Magazine wasn't including same-sex couples but hadn't publicly disclosed it.
Wedding photographer Lara Hotz, who is in a same-sex marriage, said at the time that she felt discriminated against and undervalued.
She wanted the magazine to be open about its position so people knew before buying it or advertising, while advertiser and eco-wedding expert Sandra Henri challenged the publication to have a trial period of diversity.
Another advertiser, photographer Ona Janzen, told AAP it didn't feel right that a same-sex couple could subscribe to White without knowing its stance.
The magazine's farewell post on Saturday said that while it was a secular publication, its publishers were Christians who had "no agenda but to love".
"Last year the Australian law was changed to allow same-sex couples to marry. Since then we have been asked repeatedly why our magazine had not yet featured all couples.
"Like many people, we have had to reflect on our beliefs, not to judge ourselves or others, but to intentionally make space for new conversations. It’s a long and continuing journey, it’s not black and white, there are so many grey areas that need to be explored. Our greatest mandate is to love and the biggest question we’ve continued to ask ourselves throughout it is, how do we best love?
"White Magazine has always been a secular publication, but as its publishers, we are Christian. We have no agenda but to love. We have no desire to create a social, political or legal war, which only divides people further and does more damage than good. To us, our faith is anchored in love without judgement.
"Recently we’ve experienced a flood of judgement. We know much of that comes hand-in-hand with running a public magazine. But we are also just two humans fumbling our way through these big questions and like anyone else, and we don’t have all the answers.
"Instead of allowing us the space to work through our thoughts and feelings, or being willing to engage in brave conversations to really hear each other’s stories, some have just blindly demanded that we pick a side. We’re not about sides, we’re about love, patience and kindness. A campaign was launched targeting the magazine, our team and our advertisers. Couples who have featured in our magazine have also been the subject of online abuse despite their individual beliefs. We’re really saddened by this."
Since last year's plebiscite on same-sex marriage, they'd been repeatedly asked why their magazine didn't feature all couples, and like many people they'd had to reflect on their beliefs.
They said some people had "demanded that we pick a side" instead of "allowing us the space to work through our thoughts and feelings" or being willing to engage in "brave conversations".
© AAP 2018